Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Today, Rama got a taste of schoolyard bullying.

It was during a field trip to a small farm. It was almost the end of the trip. As volunteer parent, I was helping pour juice for everyone, so I didn't notice what was going on. Rama just came up to me crying. I heard the whole story when we were on the bus back to school.

Basically, one of the girls elbowed her, trying to get her to spill her juice. No spill, so D, another classmate, a boy, taunted, "Do it again, do it again!" So the girl does it again, and Rama's drink spills.

On the fly, I had to comfort her and quickly think of the healthiest, most politically correct way to teach her how to best cope. (Made a mental note, too, to look up bullying on the net.) I made sure my response was sane and sober, as opposed to my initial from-the-gut impulse which was to scream for blood - asan na yang $&*%* batang yan? My little speech went something like this:

Me: Not all kids are good kids all the time. Sometimes, they think they can be happy by making other kids sad. So they can be mean to other kids... They're probably really sad kids, with problems. Kaya sila ganun... Look at D, he's always dragged by his mom kicking and screaming out of the playground, so he can't be very happy. Sad, ano? So Rama, you're better than them. You are a happy kid, and you know how to be happy without making other kids sad. Just play with other kids who are like that, ok? Dami naman diyan good kids.

But the important thing is, don't let them see you cry. You have to be strong. You can cry when you're with mommy na. But don't let them see you. Or else, alam nila na kaya ka nila. And they'll do it again... When they're mean to you, just walk away. Or tell them, I won't let you hurt me. Dun sila natutuwa, kapag nakikita nila na napaiyak nila ang ibang kids. So don't make them happy that way.

Rama, through tears: Siguro naiinggit sila kasi naka-crown ako!


purplegirl said...

"Not all kids are good kids all the time. Sometimes, they think they can be happy by making other kids sad."

That is, by far, the best response I have ever heard. I couldn't have come up with a better one even if I tried. I am writing it down and hopefully I'll never get to use it.

katrina said...

Ang galing mo, Poch!!! Wow, you were able to come up with a response like that on the fly? How very Zen of you!

And yes, I think Rama has a point -- those kids might have been envious of her regal bearing. :-)

cherry said...

awww... hugs for you rama...

hi ate poch!

Leica said...

Beautiful words for a little girl. Rama is blessed to have you as a mom.

I'm totally stealing your advice when I have my own kids :-)

bexieville said...

You're a good mother. if that was me, sinugod ko na yung other kid hehehe. Rama's such a sweet kid.

Anonymous said...

wow, nice advice. bullying is one of my fears since my daughter is going to school na this june. i'll also borrow your lines and orient her na abt classmate that are bullies(there is one in every school daw). hi to the very witty and intelligent rama!

P said...

Thanks, purplegirl. This means so much. I was really just making it up, hoping that it was the right thing to say. A lot of parenting is improvising, yes?

Hey, Katu! I'm glad you saw some wisdom in that. Zen-ness is what I really go for, pretty much. And those kids should just get crowns of their own, methinks.

Thanks for dropping by, Cherry.

Plagiarize all you want, Leica. Thank you, thank you.

Thanks Bexieville. Dayo lang kasi kami dito, kaya walang nangyaring suguran. Siguro kung Pasay lang 'to.

Wow, big step, anonymous. Hope all goes well the first day and all the days after.

shred-jitsu said...

awww, i was actually in the gym doing my jiujitsu training when i got a text msg from pepper telling me that someone bullied rama. i ended up whooping the ass of the guy i was sparring out of anger. i hate bullies! the truth is, theyre the biggest cowards and most of the time, not the best looking also. a lot of insecurities.

im really amazed how you handled it ate poch. my hats off to you. these bullies are just envious that rama is a happy soul with a great mother. i bet they dont have both.

argh!! im still pissed off tho. my adrenalin is still pumping in my veins!

P said...

chill, shred. :-) last time i talked to rama about it, she said D, the instigator, is her friend na in the classroom, but not in the park. she still keeps a safe distance from the girl-bully. you're right, bullies really have problems of their own. oh well, i can't shield her forever from these things, right? so all we hope for is that we teach her well. hugs!